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45 MIN READ TIME

BEHIND ENEMY LINES

WORDS RACHEL QUARRELL
PHOTOGRAPHY NAOMI BAKER + ROWING NZ

Imagine you are the high performance director of a rowing federation whose top coach has decided he is spreading himself too thinly. Two of the best oarsmen in the world, who already know how to make a pair go faster than anyone else has ever done, are about to need a new coach. Who would you pick?

This was the situation facing New Zealand and the famous duo known as the "Kiwi pair", when legendary NZ coach Dick Tonks decided he wanted to focus on coaching the women’s squad late in 2012. Tonks’ boss, NZ high performance director Alan Cotter, advertised for a new men’s coach, but also made a quiet call to old coxing rival Noel Donaldson, former coach of the Australian Oarsome Foursome, and in 2012 head coach for Rowing Australia.

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About Row360

Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, Paralympic, college, club, ocean, and more.